Bring your curiosity and be prepared for an unexpected take on how quantum is a part of our world.
Entangled: The series links surprising subjects that may feel separated by distance, but are actually strongly correlated. We’re exploring the intersection of current ground-breaking quantum information science and technology research and a range of contemporary topics.
QUANTUM + Pop Culture
Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:00 pm
“Quantum physics” has taken its position with “rocket science” in pop culture as a shorthand for frighteningly complicated science. Quantum physics has also taken on a sort of magical connotation in fiction, with features like entanglement, superposition, and tunneling spurring imagination. But where does the science draw the line? How much is joyful speculation, and how much is disregard for reality? And if it’s always seen as either magical or scary, how does that affect the perception of quantum science?
For this talk, we’ll examine quantum in film, TV, games, and literature. We’ll explore their interpretation, and then dive into what the science actually says. We’ll consider how it connects to modern quantum technologies, learn how to avoid quantum snake oil, and hopefully remove the mystery while keeping some of the magic of quantum mechanics.
Presented by the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Royal Canadian Institute for Science.
About John Donohue
John Donohue is the head of Scientific Outreach at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, where his job is to bring quantum science out of the lab, off the blackboard, and into schools and public spaces. He obtained his PhD in Physics from the University of Waterloo in 2016 with a research specialty in quantum optics, ultrafast laser physics, and entanglement.
Big Ideas for Little Minds
Thursday, September 13, 2018
I’ll take you through a historical journey of my coming of age with digital software and what that experience has granted me. The lesson to be learned is that children will take advantage of the opportunities they are given, but only if their parents and teachers show genuine interest in the activities giving rise to those opportunities.
Twenty years from now, there will be a Quantum Technology equivalent of Bill Gates. That future leader is only a young child today. That child has an enthusiastic parent or teacher who models curiosity and provides access and opportunity to understand and play with new quantum technology. Hence, that child will come of age with next quantum technology revolution. But if the seeds are not sown today, they will never grow into the big ideas of tomorrow.
About Chris Ferrie
Chris Ferrie is a senior lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney and Centre for Quantum Software and Information. His research interests include quantum estimation and control, and, in particular, the use of machine learning to solve statistical problems in quantum information science. He obtained his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Institute for Quantum Computing and the University of Waterloo (Canada) in 2012.
Quantum Fiction: The Entanglement of Physics and Literature
Thursday, April 26, 2018
The invention of quantum physics in the early 20th century forced scientists to reconsider many cherished ideas from classical physics, leading to revolutionary changes in our scientific and philosophical understanding of the universe. Quantum phenomena have also proven to be a rich source of metaphors and inspiration for fiction.
Chad Orzel, author and professor at Union College, will describe some of the strangest phenomena in quantum mechanics-- topics like entanglement, quantum measurement, and Schrodinger's infamous cat-- and discuss some of their manifestations in literature and film
Chad Orzel is a professor at Union College in Schenectady, NY, and the author of three books explaining science for non-scientists: How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog (Scribner, 2009) and How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog (Basic, 2012), which explain modern physics through imaginary conversations with Emmy, his German shepherd, and Eureka: Discovering Your Inner Scientist (Basic, 2014), on the role of scientific thinking in everyday life.
He has a BA in Physics from Williams College and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he did his thesis research on collisions of laser-cooled atoms at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the lab of Bill Phillips, who shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics (not for anything Chad did, but it was a fun time to be in that group).
He has been blogging about science since 2002, on his own site, at scienceblogs.com, and most recently for Forbes. His next book, Breakfast with Einstein: The Exotic Physics of an Ordinary Morning will be published in December 2018 by BenBella Books (US) and Oneworld Publications (UK). He lives in Niskayuna, NY with his wife Kate Nepveu, their two children, and their new dog Charlie the pupper.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Quantum mechanics reveals that at its core, the world is not as it seems – it is far more interesting.
In the quantum world, outcomes are counter-intuitive, differing from what we expect based on our everyday experiences. The particle physicist Richard Feynman remarked that this means we seem to have to walk “a logical tightrope” when we talk about a quantum system.
Fay Dowker, Imperial College London, described a way of thinking about quantum mechanics in which logic is indeed something to which we must pay careful attention if we want a picture of the quantum world.
Fay Dowker is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London. She completed her PhD under the supervision of Professor Stephen Hawking in Cambridge. Professor Dowker did postdoctoral work at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia Illinois, University of California at Santa Barbara, and California Institute of Technology, Pasadena California. She was a lecturer at Queen Mary University of London before joining Imperial College.
Professor Dowker’s research focuses on quantum gravity and the foundations of quantum mechanics. Read more about Professor Dowker's research at her website.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Radio host Mike Farwell moderated this conversation between Raymond Laflamme, founding director of the Institute for Quantum Computing and John von Neumann Chair in Quantum Information and Edwin Outwater, Music Director Laureate of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony about their collaboration that integrated quantum physics and music to create a surprisingly random performance piece.